Saturday, October 29, 2011

Within My Heart (Timber Ridge Reflections, #3)Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

WITHIN MY HEART by Tamera Alexander has all the key elements for a historical romance; a self-confidence heroine, a hero with a haunted pass, and the great outdoors as its glorious setting.

Rachel Boyd is desperate to keep her late husband’s dream alive–to have a prosperous ranch to pass down to their two sons. But her determination wanes as she finds herself deeper in debt. Feeling as if she has nowhere to turn, she concedes and asked Dr. Rand Brookston for help. As talented and handsome as Rand is, he’s a doctor, just like her father. And for Rachel, that’s all she needs to know. She tries to keep her distance from the doctor, but when he continues to surprise her with his selfless acts, the wall around her heart starts to crumble.

Dr. Rand Brookston has left lucrative opportunities in the East in order to offer medicine to those in the Wild West. Settling in Timber Ridge, his dream is to open a medical clinic so he can better serve his patients. But funds are scare, and the townspeople have yet to embrace him fully. When not treating his patients, Rand desires to get to know Rachel Boyd better. But she continues to keep him at arms length. Not sure what it is that Rachel has against him, Rand is determined to break through her stony exterior.

WITHIN MY HEART was quite enjoyable, but then again, it’s exactly what I have come to expect from Tamera Alexander. Though I felt Rachel could’ve thawed sooner to the ever helpful Rand, I knew they would end up together in the end so the personal tug-o-war was just a formality. The Timber Ridge Reflections series was entertaining. Nothing over the top, just a nice story with memorable characters

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Pirate of My Heart: A NovelPirate of My Heart: A Novel by Jamie Carie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

PIRATE OF MY HEART was an exciting and thrilling read. One of my favorite genres is the world of pirates, and Jamie Carie carved out a great story, intriguing characters, and romance that kept me turning the page.

Lady Kendra Townsend is devastated by the loss of her father. Never knowing her mother, her father was the center of her world. Not thinking her life could get any worse, Kendra is appalled to find out her uncle is setting her up to marry a horrific man. He has given her an ultimatum. Marry or leave England to live with relatives in America. Knowing she cannot give her heart to someone she doesn’t love, Kendra chooses to take her chances and leave for America.

Boarding a cargo ship to America, Kendra meets Captain Dorian Colburn, and for the first time, her heart beats for a man. But Captain Colburn quickly brushes her aside to be the responsibility of his first mate. Kendra knows it is best that she not fill her head with thoughts of the dashing captain, but she shares enough stolen glances with him to know interest lies in his eyes as well.
Captain Dorian Colburn is flummoxed by the beautiful Lady Kendra. His heart has already been crushed by a woman, but his intentions towards bachelorhood are put to the test when he finds his every waking moment filled with thoughts of the English enchantress.

Watching the push and pull of the relationship that unfolds between Kendra and Dorian at times was frustrating and painful, but only because you wanted nothing more than to see them together. Though there were a few scenarios I found hard to swallow or ended too abruptly, it didn’t deter me one iota. I was so in love with the characters I would’ve been willing to follow them through any obstacle to finally see them together.

Great pseudo pirate tale, I will look for more books in this vane from Jamie Carie.

Book provided for review purposes.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Who Can a Lady Really Trust?
A young widow, a mysterious Frenchman, and the threat of
blackmail keep readers guessing in this Regency romance

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Laurie Alice Eakes captures the hearts of her readers once again by weaving intrigue, suspense, and romance together in her new novel, A Necessary Deception (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3466-4, $14.99, October, 352 pages), set during the Regency time period.

When young widow Lady Lydia Gale helps a French prisoner obtain parole, she never expected doing so would put her family in jeopardy. But that’s just what happens when a shadowy figure corners her during an evening stroll and blackmails her with the threat of treason.

She returns to her family just as the London Season is getting underway, and is shocked when the French prisoner appears in her parlor calling himself by a new name, Christien de Meuse, and carrying a letter from the shadowy man.

While she should be helping her younger sisters, bookish Cassandra, who’s about to get married, and headstrong Honore, who’s about to enter into London society, Lydia can’t help being preoccupied with the mysterious Frenchman. Nor can she deny her attraction to him. Is he a spy or a suitor? Can he be trusted? Is she putting her family in danger or sparing them from harm?

With an eye for detail and in-depth knowledge of the period, Laurie Alice Eakes brings alive the drawing rooms of London’s elite .

Laurie Alice Eakes is also the author of Lady in the Mist and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

My Review - A Necessary Deception

4 out of 5 stars

A NECESSARY DECEPTION is the second book I’ve read from Laurie Alice Eakes, and was definitely the better of the two.

Lady Gale believes her time for love is over. After the death of her husband in the war with the French, and her suspicions that he wasn’t true to her, Lydia decides her life would be better spent seeing her two sisters introduced into London society. After her sisters are accepted into London’s upper crust, she plans to travel back to her simple cottage, paint the landscapes of her life, and continue a quiet existence.

All her plans are dashed when she encounters Frenchman Christien de Meuse for a second time. Thinking him a friend of her deceased husband, Lydia had arranged for his release from prison. But, her feelings of indebtedness are soon turned to betrayal when he shows up in London and she is blackmailed into introducing him to the elite circles of London. Though told he is a double agent trying to head off a plot against the English government, she does not believe him. But, when her family is the target of threats if she does not comply, she has no choice but to go along with Christien’s plan or see her family ruined.

Struggling against the tyranny of her autocratic father and the folly of her younger sisters, Lydia is beside herself. But her turmoil is never greater than when thinking of Christien de Meuse, and the feelings that are emerging inside her heart without her permission. She wants nothing more than to trust him and give into the desires of her heart. But just when she is ready to give into her thoughts of love, she questions his allegiance and pushes him away. As danger mounts for both England and Lydia’s family, she must decide who she will trust, and if that trust will lead to destruction of her family.

A NECESSARY DECEPTION was a good balance of intrigue and romance. I liked the strength and persistence of Lydia’s character though at times–as the Lady she was– she would falter and do what was expected of her instead of what her conscience was telling her. The character of Christien was suave and mysterious, and Cassandra and Honore were quite the handful to take care of. In all, the book was enjoyable to read. Slow at times, and maybe a few too many rabbit trails, but all in all, I will make sure and keep my eye out for the second installment in The Daughters of Bainbridge House series.

Book provided for review purposes.

“Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Measure of Katie Calloway

Fleeing to the North Woods to Escape Her Abusive Husband
Will Katie have the courage to allow another man into her heart?

The Measure of Katie Calloway (ISBN: 978-0-8007-1998-2, $14.99, October), the newest book from author Serena Miller, transports readers to an era of log jams and shanty boys in the northern woods of Michigan.

The Civil War in America is over and former northerner, Katie Calloway, must flee for her life from Georgia, where her husband, an abusive Confederate officer, is waging war in their own home. Not only does he taunt her about her father and brother dying for the Union army, but she discovers that he is planning to kill her in order to be free to marry a local widow whose still-intact plantation he covets. Katie and her little brother find refuge in a lumber camp where she allows the camp owner to believe she is a widow.

The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie, worried that Robert will fire her if he discovers she is not the grieving widow she pretends to be, fights to keep her past a secret from this good man she is growing to love.

As Katie and Robert slowly realize their deep love for one another, Katie wonders, can she truly outrun her tumultuous past and learn to trust someone new?

Miller tells the story of an unforgettable journey of love, sacrifice, and self-discovery set against the backdrop of a world that was unforgiving at best.

Serena Miller is the author of Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio, as well as numerous articles for periodicals such as Woman's World, Guideposts, Reader's Digest, Focus on the Family, Christian Woman, and more. She lives on a farm in southern Ohio.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

Measure of Katie Calloway, The: A NovelMeasure of Katie Calloway, The: A Novel by Serena Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE MEASURE OF KATIE CALLOWAY follows Katie as she flees from her abusive husband. Fearful of leaving, fearful of staying, she knows if she hopes to salvage a life for her and her brother, Ned, she has to get as far from Harlan Calloway as possible. Taking the job as a cook for a lumber camp, Katie figures she and Ned will be safe hidden in the forests of Michigan. What she didn’t plan on is the growing attraction she feels for Robert Foster, the owner of the camp.

Robert Foster wonders if a widowed Katie Smith can handle the harsh surroundings of a logging camp. But he ends up spending more time wondering how it is he’s allowed himself to fall in love with her. Her beauty is without question, but it’s her tenacity, her devotion to her brother, and to the men of his camp that makes her even more alluring.

THE MEASURE OF KATIE CALLOWAY made for a quick read. The story threads were stitched so well together, I didn’t want to put the book down. Most of the story was predictable, but the characters Serena Miller created made the story feel unique and fresh.

“Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Book provided for review purposes.

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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Say Hello to Hollywood!
Find out just how funny life can be when you try to script it.

Popular romance author and screenwriter, Janice Thompson, is charming her readers once again with a behind-the-scenes look at life in Hollywood. Her new book, Hello, Hollywood! (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3346-9, $14.99, 288 pages, September) is the second installment in the Backstage Pass series. This time, Thompson takes her readers inside the writer’s room.

At 28, Athena Pappas has a pretty great gig. She’s the head writer of one of the most popular sitcoms in television history, Stars Collide. Yet, something’s still lacking: her love life.

Athena finds nothing wrong with still living at home with her large, wacky Greek family and making her bed with the same Strawberry Shortcake sheets she had as a kid. None of that has prevented Athena from plotting her characters’ romances. So why is her own love life so hard to script?

Athena’s love life gets the shakeup it needs when her boss hires up-and-coming Vegas comedian, Stephen Cosse, to help boost the show’s sagging ratings. Feeling her position as head writer threatened, she starts to doubt her talents, and the fact that Stephen is as good looking as Adonis doesn’t escape Athena’s attention either.

Sparks fly as the competition—and attraction—between the two heats things up. While they struggle to create conflict and comedy for their characters on the page, Athena and Stephen develop a relationship they never would have scripted for themselves and discover that not being in control of the plot of their lives may just be the best thing that’s ever happened.

Hello, Hollywood! delights readers with its charm and humor. Every character will jump off the page and into the readers’ hearts.

Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson affords an inside look at TV land, drawing on her experiences as a screenwriter. She is the author of the Weddings by Bella series and lives in Texas. To learn more about Janice visit her at:

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.
Hello, Hollywood!Hello, Hollywood! by Janice Thompson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

HELLO HOLLYWOOD, the second in the Backstage Pass series, follows closely in the footsteps of STARS COLLIDE. A quirky, winsome, and entertaining read.

Athena Pappas, head writer for the television sitcom STARS COLLIDE, is feeling insecure in her job when ratings start to sag. When the studio brings in Steven Cosse– a new writer to help boost ratings–she is sure her job is in jeopardy. Steven is not only talented, but shares Athena’s Greek background, and is nothing short of tall, dark, and handsome. Athena soon feel threatened on more than just the vocational front. When Athena’s family finds out Steven shares her Greek heritage, matchmaking erupts both at home and on the set.

HELLO HOLLYWOOD mixes the glamor of Hollywood with the traditions of a close knit Greek family. Fun-loving secondary characters add to the depth and entertainment of this book. Though I usually prefer more action-packed books of intrigue, it is fun once in a while to sit back and enjoy something a little more light-hearted. Overall, a pleasurable read.

“Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

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